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Freddie was hugely talented

“Freddie was hugely talented. He was a natural musician. And he had an amazing voice. He could sing anything – from rock ’n’ roll to classical music. For example, apart from the Hectics, he was also part of a Western classical music group at school, where three boys would sing in three different keys. And that is probably one of the reasons for the eclectic sound he created for Queen in later years. By the way, his voice never changed over the years. If you listen to a Freddie Mercury CD, it sounds just like the young Freddie did back then, singing for the Hectics in Panchgani.

After school I lost track of Freddie. And given the very different kind of life that I led in the army, I’d never even heard of Freddie Mercury. It was only after he died, in 1991, that someone sent me a magazine cutting about Freddie, which happened to mention my name as one of the Hectics. It was only then that I learned his whole story. I went out and bought a couple of Freddie Mercury CDs, I remember. I could hardly recognise the face on the cover, but the voice sounded exactly like the Freddie I knew from our Hectics days.”

Victory Rana, member of The Hectics and Freddie’s friend at boarding school

In the top picture, Victory Rana is to the left, Bruce Murray and Farrokh (Freddie),

a lovely fan story from a young lady, Julie.

a lovely fan story from a young lady, Julie.

July 8, 9, 11 & 12, 1980, Queen performed four evenings at The famed LA Forum, Inglewood, California 🇺🇸

“The Game Tour”

Here’s a lovely fan story from a young lady, Julie. She was with a group of friends who not only saw Queen perform at The Forum but they met Freddie!

” I was a star struck teenager in 1980 when we sat near a stage at the LA forum to witness Queen concert.

Thanks to my uncle George Steele III who was a leader in the music industry , we were driven to the concert, just kids no adults. We stomped, clapped and sang our hearts out.

After the concert, we were ushered backstage where we waited until Freddie Mercury entered the room. He asked about how we liked the show and took pictures with us.”

Credit to Julie Seleine Hudash

A treasured memory for these young fans 💛😉

This picture was taken July 1980 at LA Forum

Queen are attracting new fans, teenagers, even people in their 20s and 30s

Queen are attracting new fans, teenagers, even people in their 20s and 30s

Queen are attracting new fans, teenagers, even people in their 20s and 30s. What do you think of this phenomenon?

Roger Taylor: It is a phenomenon, it is great. I think it’s fantastic to have a new public for us. We are an old band and we had great times back in the 70s, 80s and 90s. But to think now, 50 years later, a lot of very young people really discovering our music for the first time, it’s fantastic, it gives me a very good feeling.

What do you think attracts people to Queen?

Roger: I personally think it’s good music, it has quality. And I think the musicianship is good, I think the singing is good and the composition is good. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, we aren’t everybody’s favorite style. But some of the songs have an anthemic, grand occasion kind of feel and I think that translates to people.

Roger Taylor

Queen is Timeless!

The line ‘Mama, just killed a man’ on the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody

The line ‘Mama, just killed a man’ on the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody

The line ‘Mama, just killed a man’ on the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was Freddie’s covert way of saying that he had now left his old, straight life behind him.

I got a feeling that Freddie always had a complex that he wasn’t as well-educated as the others. Maybe that’s why he chose to leave them and go back to his dressing room or hotel room. He seemed to prefer hanging out with his own entourage or ‘harem’, as it became known.

Or was it just his dark secret, the suspicion that he was HIV positive, that got in the way?

Sometimes Brian and I would knock on Freddie’s door to show him one of my pictures. (Brian always wanted to see the latest ones, so in the morning I would run around town in a new city looking for photo processing labs). But Freddie was only moderately interested. He might have said ‘nice shot’; that was about it.

He wasn’t a diva though, far from it. Instead I remember him as being an extremely polite, humble and friendly chap.

Be that as it may, Freddie was never around when the other guys hit the bars after a gig. Nor was Roger, the always polite, real British gentleman, who also preferred to set up his own after-parties.

For this reason, it would often be a small trio, Brian, John and myself, who would go out for a pint or two, rarely more. None of them seemed interested in getting particularly drunk. When Queen was interviewed by a Japanese newspaper in 1975, John had replied that his favourite drink was ‘milk’ and Brian had said ‘grapefruit juice’. Clearly, it was music that had attracted them to the business from the start, not dreams of some kind of rock star life.

The thing is, even if we rarely talked about it that summer of 1986, Freddie had become an important part of my life. He was one of the few stars who always owned the stage, who almost seemed to own the world. Every inch of him an artist.

I have thousands of pictures of Freddie stashed away, not all of them good, of course, but still I find it hard to identify a single one where he doesn’t come off looking totally luminous.

Even when he is lying seemingly wasted, almost dead, on a staircase on stage, his pose is perfect.

The Queen is dead. Long love the Queen.”

[Torleif Svensson, ‘Queen – The Last Tour’]

📷 Torleif Svensson, 1986

Freddie Mercury backstage

Freddie Mercury backstage

Freddie Mercury backstage

A fan recalls there wasn’t much atmosphere to begin with because the show began and ended in daylight, due to a lack of lighting on the Slane site. Plenty of people in the audience got drunk and, combined with the steady rainfall, it led to some problems all afternoon. It began with various objects being thrown at the opening acts. Suzanna Hoffs of The Bangles said at one point, “We’re sorry you’re getting wet. We are too, but at least you can’t get electrocuted!”

Sam Coates was in the audience and recalls, “One thing I clearly remember was a guy getting on stage and running at Freddie. Freddie very cool; he put his arm around him and walked him down the steps and led him to the security staff who escorted him off-stage.” Around this point he tapped a security guy on the shoulder and told him, “This is your job.”

(read more on website)

then came Queen and the world

then came Queen and the world

“First there came rock groups. And lo, they were good. And then came Queen and the world trembled. For Queen are not just a group, they are a way of life, an institution, and they have a place in the national heritage of treasures,” said journalist, Chris Welch.

The British music press treated Queen’s music roughly most of the time. Instead of appreciating their national treasure and try to make the best out of it, they reviewed their albums without even listening to them, always in a deprecating way.

Freddie just burnt their reviews the moment he received them. After all the harm and gratuitous insults these people had inflicted in the past, it was too late to redress the balance now.

“If the clipping was from a British publication, it went straight onto the fire, the American and European clippings, he kept.

Of course, serious journalists, like Maura Sutton, singled out Freddie for particular praise, and also hit out at the British music press for its continuous persecution of him: ‘Freddie Mercury has always attracted the greatest amount of flak from critics too busy to acknowledge the fact that he’s one of the greatest rock vocalists ever!’ This review excited Freddie the most,” said Peter Freestone. 💛

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